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Dog Rescue Newcastle has a Christmas wish


Volunteers at Dog Rescue Newcastle will tell you a dog needs a pack to feel they belong.  

No matter what breed, or age or background, a canine needs to run, play, eat and rest with their horde – because that’s what family is all about.  

The animal shelter’s message is never more poignant than at Christmas.  

Photo: Rebecca Riddle

This is the time of year when many families will be planning to welcome a dog into their home. 

Sadly, it’s also just months before many puppies will be surrendered at the rescue’s Fullerton Cove sanctuary because the pack has failed them. 

The message they hope will reach the community this festive season is “Adopt rather than shop”. 

“It’s a busy time for us,” says Dog Rescue Newcastle boss John Giddens – who is colloquially referred to as “The Dog Whisperer”. 

“We’ve had a few dogs surrendered and they’ve had pups and they all need to be cared for.” 

And, the cost to feed and house dogs at the shelter, the lucky ones that have survived, is between $20,000 and $40,000 per month. 

“That just the vet bills,” John says. “Then we need food, blankets, toys…” 

Dog Rescue Newcastle adoption – Ellie & cattle pup. Photo: Damien from Stone & Bear

Spanning almost two acres, the not-for-profit’s new sanctuary will soon be able to house 40 kennels. 

And, while that seems positive, the harsh reality is that without adoptions, they will outgrow the site.  

Photo: Rebecca Riddle

Since it was established in 2008, Dog Rescue Newcastle has found forever homes for 11, 869 dogs and 3,872 cats, as well as fostering 16,082 animals. 

Thanks to its volunteers, the registered charity rescues abandoned, neglected and homeless animals on a regular basis, many arriving traumatised. 

Yet these are the lucky ones the volunteers say. 

“Some of them have seen some pretty awful things,” says one of the volunteers. 

“A lot of them come from DV situations, they’ve been neglected, they’re scared, and they don’t understand what’s happening to them.” 

Dog Rescue Newcastle adoption – Sarah & pup. Photo: Damien from Stone & Bear

The advice – if you don’t have the time and energy to invest in a dog, don’t get one. 

“Don’t be fooled by the Instagram dogs paraded off-leash on the beaches and at cafes – what you don’t see is the hard work that has gone in to training that dog,” another volunteer offered.

“And, like humans, some of them can sit still and some can’t, they have different moods and personalities, they need to be taught.

“A dog is an investment. 

“Just like you wouldn’t leave a toddler at home alone all day, you should never leave a puppy for an extended number of hours either.” 

animal shelter
Dog Rescue Newcastle adoption – Kirstie & cattle dog. Photo: Damien from Stone & Bear

How can I help?

If you love dogs but can’t have one right now Dog Rescue Newcastle are looking for dedicated people willing to help at its Fullerton Cove shelter.

They currently need helpers for donation sorting, general maintenance, dog walking, manual labour, small projects, marketing and fundraising.

Jessie the cattle dog is in desperate need of a home. Photo: Damien from Stone & Bear

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